Recent F-35 article provides some interesting new details

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posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 05:21 PM
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I saw this on another forum and thought some might be interested. The source is Airforce Magazine so while it is guaranteed to support the F-35 program, by the same token the source is nearly as official as it gets.

If the details in this article are correct the F-35 is shaping up into a formidable 21st century warfare system.


IMHO, of particular interest....


How much of the F-35’s postulated combat advantage will remain? By the time it reaches squadron service, will it still be a dominant fighter, relative to the rest of the world? In short, is the F-35A going to be worth the wait?

If the view of Lockheed Martin is any guide, the answer is emphatically yes. In a recent briefing for Air Force Magazine, the F-35’s developer offered important new details about the fighter’s stealthy design, employment concepts, modern air combat capabilities, and more.



The fighter’s capabilities will make it a three- or four-for-one asset, said the Lockheed briefers, meaning that it will be able to simultaneously perform the roles of several different aircraft types—from strike to electronic attack, from command and control to battlefield surveillance.

O’Bryan pointed out an important truth about air combat: Fourth generation strike aircraft assigned to hit targets guarded by modern anti-access, area-denial systems (A2/AD, in military parlance) require the support of "AWACS, electronic attack, sweep airplanes, SEAD" (suppression of enemy air defenses) aircraft and cruise missiles. Such a package could run to dozens of aircraft.

The same mission, he claimed, can be achieved with just a quartet of F-35s.
Each would be capable of operations that go well beyond air-to-ground missions. The four-ship would be a potent factor in any scenario calling for the employment of airpower, O’Bryan asserted.



When it comes to maintainable stealth design, the F-35 represents the state of the art, O’Bryan said, superior even to the F-22 Raptor, USAF’s top-of-the-line air superiority aircraft.

The F-22 requires heavy doses of regular and expensive low observable materials maintenance. F-35 stealth surfaces, by contrast, are extremely resilient in all conditions, according to the Lockheed team.

"We’ve taken it to a different level," O’Bryan said. The stealth of the production F-35—verified in radar cross section tests performed on classified western test ranges—is better than that of any aircraft other than the F-22.



The F-35’s radar cross section, or RCS, has a "maintenance margin," O’Bryan explained, meaning it’s "always better than the spec." Minor scratches and even dents won’t affect the F-35’s stealth qualities enough to degrade its combat performance, in the estimation of the company. Field equipment will be able to assess RCS right on the flight line, using far less cumbersome gear than has previously been needed to make such calculations.



In addition, it uses machine-to-machine communications with other F-35s. Emitters such as the radar and the electronic warfare system can flash on and off among all the F-35s in a flight.

A leading fighter, for example, can have a trailing F-35 illuminate his target with radar. The data in such an operation will be shared via a laser-powered Multifunction Advanced Data Link; the pilots don’t even need to talk to each other.

Stealth also permits (and requires) internal fuel and weapons carriage. The Air Force F-35 variant, fully loaded for combat, can pull nine-G turns with a full load of fuel and missiles. This cannot be done by fighters lugging along external weapons and fuel tanks.



In a modern A2/AD environment, no fourth generation fighter can survive, O’Bryan insisted, no matter how much support it receives from jammers. In such an environment, however, the F-35 can fly in relative safety, with more range than the F-16 and with the same combat payload.

When enemy defenses have been beaten down, and the need for stealthiness is not so strong, the F-35 will use both internal and external stations. That would boost its carrying capacity to a full 18,000 pounds of ordnance—more than triple the F-16’s max load of 5,200 pounds.

O’Bryan said the F-35 is an all-aspect stealth aircraft—that is to say, stealthy from any and all directions.



The F-35 meets or exceeds the services’ infrared signature specifications. Many of the standard fighter engine features such as a big afterburner spray bar assembly and related piping are missing from the F-35. The F135 power plant, built by Pratt & Whitney, is truly a "stealth engine," he said.



Much speculation has swirled around the question of the F-35’s electronic warfare and electronic attack capabilities. The Air Force has resolutely refused to discuss any specifics. Yet experts have pointed out that, in its most recent EW/EA roadmap, USAF has failed to mention any plans for a dedicated jamming aircraft. It is a conspicuous omission.

O’Bryan certainly couldn’t go into the subject of the fighter’s EW/EA suite in any detail, or the way it might coordinate with specialized aircraft such as the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System, RC-135 Rivet Joint, E-8 JSTARS, or EA-18G Growler jammer aircraft.

He did say, however, that F-35 requirements call for it to go into battle with "no support whatever" from these systems...

...O’Bryan said the power of the F-35’s EW/EA systems can be inferred from the fact that the Marine Corps "is going to replace its EA-6B [a dedicated jamming aircraft] with the baseline F-35B" with no additional pods or internal systems.

O’Bryan went on to say that the electronic warfare capability on the F-35A "is as good as, or better than, [that of the] fourth generation airplanes specifically built for that purpose." The F-35’s "sensitivity" and processing power—a great deal of it automated—coupled with the sensor fusion of internal and offboard systems, give the pilot unprecedented situational awareness as well as the ability to detect, locate, and target specific systems that need to be disrupted.



As F-35s criss-cross enemy airspace, they also will automatically collect vast amounts of data about the disposition of enemy forces. They will, much like the JSTARS, collect ground moving target imagery and pass the data through electronic links to the entire force. This means the F-35 will be able to silently and stealthily transmit information and instructions to dispersed forces, in the air and on the ground.



Because it was designed to maneuver to the edge of its envelope with a full internal combat load, the F-35 will be able to run rings around most other fighters, but it probably won’t have to—and probably shouldn’t...

...The F-35’s systems will even allow it to shoot at a target "almost when that airplane is behind you," thanks to its 360-degree sensors.

According to O’Bryan, the F-35 also can interrogate a target to its rear, an ability possessed by no other fighter.

If you survive a modern dogfight, O’Bryan claimed, "it’s based on the countermeasures you have, not on your ability to turn."

If the situation demands a turning dogfight, however, the F-35 evidently will be able to hold its own with any fighter. That is a reflection on the fighter’s agility. What’s more, a potential future upgrade foresees the F-35 increasing its air-to-air missile loadout from its current four AIM-120 AMRAAMs to six of those weapons.



The F-35, while not technically a "supercruising" aircraft, can maintain Mach 1.2 for a dash of 150 miles without using fuel-gulping afterburners.

"Mach 1.2 is a good speed for you, according to the pilots," O’Bryan said.


The high speed also allows the F-35 to impart more energy to a weapon such as a bomb or missile, meaning the aircraft will be able to "throw" such munitions farther than they could go on their own energy alone.

There is a major extension of the fighter’s range if speed is kept around Mach .9, O’Bryan went on, but he asserted that F-35 transonic performance is exceptional and goes "through the [Mach 1] number fairly easily." The transonic area is "where you really operate."


The F-35’s Race Against Time

Stock CF-35 Lockheed Martin photoshop repost (only F-35 photo I had in my ATS file)
edit on 7-11-2012 by Drunkenparrot because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 05:33 PM
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its funny that all these stealth aircrafts have the radar signature of a bird.

but how many birds do you know that fly at mach 2 in formation across your radar scope.

the fastest bird in the world is the peregrine falcon and it reaches 120 mph.

not the safest speed for a fully loaded stealth aircraft.



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:00 PM
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Originally posted by randomname
its funny that all these stealth aircrafts have the radar signature of a bird.

but how many birds do you know that fly at mach 2 in formation across your radar scope.

the fastest bird in the world is the peregrine falcon and it reaches 120 mph.

not the safest speed for a fully loaded stealth aircraft.


In practice it is a little bit more complicated than that.

Stealth doesn't mean invisible, stealth means harder to detect.

You are correct that modern search radar algorithms specifically look for low fidelity returns moving at high speed but that's not a new idea, it was at the heart of the pulse doppler lookdown/shootdown radars of the 70's.

The big deal with the F-35 stealth capability is that it is good enough while being tremendously easier for ground crews to maintain in the field.

From the article...


This, he went on, is true in part because the conductive materials needed to absorb and disperse incoming radar energy are baked directly into the aircraft’s multilayer composite skin and structure.

Moreover, the surface material smoothes out over time, slightly reducing the F-35’s original radar signature, according to the Lockheed Martin official. Only serious structural damage will disturb the F-35’s low observability, O’Bryan said, and Lockheed Martin has devised an array of field repairs that can restore full stealthiness in just a few hours....

...Thus, said O’Bryan, the company left open several ways to make field modifications that can create a quick-release door in the aircraft’s skin. These doors won’t then need tape or caulk to restore stealthiness, the application of which is a time-consuming and expensive chore in other stealth aircraft.

The repair and upkeep of low observables has been one of the F-22’s "main maintenance drivers," he said, "and that goes away with [the] F-35."





posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:03 PM
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I was under the (perhaps false) impression that the F-22s we have are rarely used and largely mothballed? Something to do with no real clear use for them in any recent military operations? If it seems that I'm trolling / baiting, I'm not.


If that's wrong, then forgive me but if that's an accurate impression, then what makes the F-35 needed? Furthermore what about it will keep it from the same / similar fate?


Sure looks "cool" though.



X



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by Drunkenparrot
 

Wow I really didn't know half of this stuff! I think the UAVs that we have at this point added to an arsenal like these and no wonder the russians backed out of START nukes may be all they have left to keep these things at bay
So they park their subs off our coast, well for these and a laundry list of other toys...



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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Originally posted by Xatnys
I was under the (perhaps false) impression that the F-22s we have are rarely used and largely mothballed? Something to do with no real clear use for them in any recent military operations? If it seems that I'm trolling / baiting, I'm not.


If that's wrong, then forgive me but if that's an accurate impression, then what makes the F-35 needed? Furthermore what about it will keep it from the same / similar fate?


Sure looks "cool" though.



X



The 22 is called "Craptor" for a reason. I just hope the 35 is half as good as the 22... since its already behind Russian radar tech. See... whats great about russia is the way they think - they're simpler, more practical and save a lot more money. Why invest on a plane when you can invest on something smaller, cheaper that catches the other guy's planes?

You know the old story - nasa spent years developing a pen to write in space, russians brought a pencil.

Oh and that 35 is also behind the new variants of Flankers, and put to shame by the su-35s flanker.

And china already has L-band AESA AWACS (L-band, where the 35 completely fails and where even the 22 was better but already sucked) and a copied J-11B Flanker B+ in the production lines.

When will the US stop spending money on crap?


EDIT: but yes, its beautiful!
edit on 7-11-2012 by FraternitasSaturni because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:15 PM
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That's the one the Harper Gov't in Canada is getting heat over wanting to buy. A lot of the reports I read said it's junk , so I don't know. “It wasn’t performing so well, it was late, the costs were running up, international investors and potential buyers and governments were getting worried,” Ottawa defence analyst Steven Staples tells the fifth estate. “So who were their two closest allies on this? Canada and Israel. And those were the two really key countries, I think, that could give some good news. And in 2010 Lockheed Martin was desperate for some good news about the F-35. And Canada gave it to them.”

In 2010, the Harper government publicly announced the cost of purchasing 65 F-35 aircraft would be $9 billion. At the time, the government refused to disclose its own further operating and sustainment cost estimates of $16 billion, which pushed the total cost of the F-35 program to $25 billion over 20 years. www.cbc.ca... Last I heard it's all on hold.



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by pigwithoutawig
That's the one the Harper Gov't in Canada is getting heat over wanting to buy. A lot of the reports I read said it's junk , so I don't know. “It wasn’t performing so well, it was late, the costs were running up, international investors and potential buyers and governments were getting worried,” Ottawa defence analyst Steven Staples tells the fifth estate. “So who were their two closest allies on this? Canada and Israel. And those were the two really key countries, I think, that could give some good news. And in 2010 Lockheed Martin was desperate for some good news about the F-35. And Canada gave it to them.”

In 2010, the Harper government publicly announced the cost of purchasing 65 F-35 aircraft would be $9 billion. At the time, the government refused to disclose its own further operating and sustainment cost estimates of $16 billion, which pushed the total cost of the F-35 program to $25 billion over 20 years. www.cbc.ca... Last I heard it's all on hold.


Worth repeating .


Regards, Iwinder



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:30 PM
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here you go all the photos you could want of the f-35 integrated training center at eglin afb. i live just a few miles and here them flying all the time.

F-35 Eglin Airfocre Base


also thei n second link the third article, is about the itc at eglin
F-35 Lightning



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:39 PM
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Originally posted by hounddoghowlie
here you go all the photos you could want of the f-35 integrated training center at eglin afb. i live just a few miles and here them flying all the time.

F-35 Eglin Airfocre Base


also thei n second link the third article, is about the itc at eglin
F-35 Lightning



Great links, the second link you posted is very interesting and I have yet to read it all as it looks like about 3 hours worth of reading.

The one problem I do have is that the link is from the fox guarding the hen house so to speak.

However I will chime in later once I have time to digest all the information included in your so kindly provided link.

Regards, Iwinder



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 06:46 PM
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Originally posted by Xatnys
I was under the (perhaps false) impression that the F-22s we have are rarely used and largely mothballed? Something to do with no real clear use for them in any recent military operations? If it seems that I'm trolling / baiting, I'm not.


If that's wrong, then forgive me but if that's an accurate impression, then what makes the F-35 needed? Furthermore what about it will keep it from the same / similar fate?


Sure looks "cool" though.



X



No worries about asking questions confused with purposefully being disruptive.


As far as mothballed, no the F-22 fleet is alive and well although it has suffered its share of teething problems and its production was capped at 187 aircraft, the last being delivered a year ago.

There was thought to be a possible problem with the oxygen supply system that grounded the entire fleet earlier this year but the USAF believes they have identified and corrected the problem.

While the F-22 is expensive to operate and limited in mission scope, The F-22 is the USAF's thoroughbred showpiece and is projected to serve into the 2030's (I believe?).


The USAF did retire the first generation of stealth aircraft F-117 fleet in 2007, perhaps you are confusing the two?



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 07:01 PM
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Originally posted by hounddoghowlie
here you go all the photos you could want of the f-35 integrated training center at eglin afb. i live just a few miles and here them flying all the time.

F-35 Eglin Airfocre Base


also thei n second link the third article, is about the itc at eglin
F-35 Lightning


Great stuff, thanks for posting those!

Some more F-35 news out of Eglin...


Col. Arthur Tomassetti has been an integral part of the development of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II and its prototype the X-35 since its inception. The F-35, which features three variants to be used by the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy, is a single-seat aircraft capable of stealthy operations, equipped with an enhanced computer technology system and capable of performing short takeoff and vertical-landing capabilities while maintaining the conventional operations of other airplanes. The F-35B is slated to replace the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18A Hornet and the EA-6B Prowler for the Marine Corps...

What is the greatest strength of the F-35?

“The strength of the F-35 isn’t the one airplane and what it can do. The strength of the F-35 is the group of airplanes and what they can do together. There is a sensor fusion that takes all the eyes and ears of the airplane and converges them all onto the display on the dash. Not only is the information displayed in your cockpit, but you can also transfer it to the F-35 next to you. It creates a flying network out in the battle space.”

How will the F-35 effectively replace the Harrier, the Prowler and the Hornet?

“We used to have F/A-18s go in as the fighter cover and F/A-18s and Harriers going in as the ones that were dropping the bombs and EA-6Bs as support from an electronic attack – all those airplanes to go after the one target that was heavily defended. Now, we have four F-35s. They can do the fighter mission; they can do the bombing mission; they can do the electronic attack mission. They can go after that same target with a lot less airplanes.”

An inside look at the F-35 Lightning II



The Air Force's premier fighter, the F-35 Lightning II, surpassed its 500th sortie only 16 days after reaching the 400 mark and only 238 days from the beginning of the program.

Maj. Matthew Johnston of the 58th Fighter Squadron completed the 500th combined sortie for both the F-35A and F-35B at the 33rd Fighter Wing Nov. 2, marking a continued progress in sortie generation rates since the wing started flight operations March 6.

"On Friday during our F-35A operational utility evaluation we hit the 500th flight in 16 days from the prior 400th combined sortie flown on Oct. 16," said Col. Andrew Toth, commander for the 33rd Fighter Wing. "This is significant progress forward since it took 123 days to achieve the 100th combined sortie on July 12."


F-35 celebrates 500th sortie as program grows



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by FraternitasSaturni
You know the old story - nasa spent years developing a pen to write in space, russians brought a pencil.


You know that story isn't exactly true don't you?

Both space programs initially used pencils.

The Fisher Space Pen was a private venture that the Soviets adopted as well.

Snopes/ The Write Stuff



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 07:57 PM
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Still have to go some long ways to convince this Cannuck the plane is worth the money.
A billion bucks a year and more to have these babys standing by is a hellua lot of welfare checks and baby bonuses...heheheh!



posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by stirling
Still have to go some long ways to convince this Cannuck the plane is worth the money.
A billion bucks a year and more to have these babys standing by is a hellua lot of welfare checks and baby bonuses...heheheh!


I think Canadian aviation enthusiasts are still angry about cancelling the Avro Arrow..


And understandibly leary of U.S. aerospace contractors after getting suckered into buying a bunch of CF-101's and Bomark's instead.





In all serious, it is a tough call for the RCAF. 16 Billion USD for 65 aircraft whose planform seems contradictory to Canadian needs of long range patrol/ maritime interdiction.

Maybe its sensor suite really is capable of competently replacing dedicated surveillance and EW platforms in which case it does start making more sense and looking like a better proposition than simply upgrading your CF-18 fleet.




posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 10:43 PM
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Originally posted by FraternitasSaturni
You know the old story - nasa spent years developing a pen to write in space, russians brought a pencil.


This old story is also not true. You don't use a pencil on the space station because it breaks off small pieces of graphite. The "space pen" was also funded by a private company.



posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 10:58 PM
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reply to post by FraternitasSaturni
 


Even if the KJ-2000 uses L band radars, it's not going to give a good enough position to shoot anything at any stealth that they can detect. It will get other aircraft into the general area, but then they have the problem of their radars not seeing them before they're being shot at.

All this of course is if the stealth systems haven't advanced to the point where L band and similar radars won't see the stealth soon enough to do anything about it.



posted on Nov, 9 2012 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by Drunkenparrot
 


It sounds great on paper, but after reading about the F-22 procurement recently, and what happened with that program, I'm highly skeptical that it's going to do all these missions. Or if it does, that it will do everything they say right off the bat, and not 20 years from now after 15 upgrades. Lockmart doesn't have the best reputation with the Air Force, and from what I've been hearing lately, they're kind of doing what they want, and expecting the Air Force to shut up and take it if they want their shiny new toy.



posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 09:32 PM
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reply to post by Drunkenparrot
 


Hope that's all true dude. I think it is, and can't wait to till the -35 starts full production. Maybe they'll base some at the base I live near. Here's hoping!



posted on Nov, 10 2012 @ 10:47 PM
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I see these fly almost every day, at least two with a harrier, they come to ILM. I am a former active duty Marine and I know my aircraft.

These things have been doing amazing maneuvers over the skies of Wilmington, NC for a couple of years now. They are beautiful...and stealthy indeed. You can see them come in for a landing (vertically!!!!!Like a harrier but better!) from the road along the backside of the airport. Damn, you can drive right up to the gates they sit behind... approx. 25yds away. I dare not take pictures as this airport is also home to a National Guard Armory.

They have no official markings, but I know that un-offically they are attached to the UN's strike fighter fleet- they do perform sorties and they can be seen plain as day-when they fly over, they are pretty low where I am-and ladies and gentlemen...they are FULLY WEAPONIZED- you can count the missiles on the damn things. The cover story for these things being at this airport to begin with is that Lockheed is still working out some bugs with the engines and our local GE plant works alongside lockheed in developing specific parts...blah...blah...blah.

How lucky I am to see these wonderful beasts give me a flyby practically over my apartment. I'll try to upload some pics of them flying, but I can't and won't go to the airport to get any.

Gorgeous beyond words. What a sight to behold.





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